Look at this Midwood department store. Would you believe this no-frills, local department store was part of a thriving New York chain that has outlets in Manhattan, Long Island and Westchester?
It is. Lester's was founded in 1948 and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this store, which owns the corner of Avenue U and Coney Island Blvd., was the first. The signs are just too damn old. The look is so mid-20th-century-non-chain-local-department-store. (Which is a thing, believe me. I can recognize it a mile away.) Lester and Lillian Kronfeld were the founders and the chain is still family owned.
Lester's dominates several buildings at this corner. There's a shoe section, there's a men's and boy's section, there's a lot of sections. There's no getting away from it. Which make explain it's success.